At Kensa Health, we believe that one of the best ways to improve women’s health is to increase general knowledge about women’s health issues. We will be working hard over the next few months to create content addressing common women’s health questions. But in the meantime, if you are looking to increase your own knowledge, we’ve got you covered. Here is a list of 10 of our favourite books on all things women’s health related.
Unwell Women: A Journey Through Medicine And Myth in a Man-Made World
By: Elinor Cleghorn
If you want to know the historical origins of the women’s health gap, this is a brilliant place to start. Elinor looks at the history of men and commercial drivers influencing women’s health and how we’ve ended up where we are today. While this book is upsettingly devastating at times, it’s also a chance for women to come together and realise that they are not alone. A rallying cry for change and a book that has personally inspired us to push forward with Sophia Health.
The Gynae Geek: Your no-nonsense guide to ‘down there’ healthcare
By Dr Anita Mirta
Everything you ever wanted to know (and needed to know) about vaginal health. This book is written by the fantastic Dr Anita Mirta aka @gynaegeek one of our favorite female health Instagrammers. Her book is a more indepth look at everything from first periods to menopause. It is full of help information, stories from real women, and advice for common gynaecological health concerns. Well worth picking up and we highly recommend following her on Instagram as well.
Private Parts: Living well with bad periods and endometriosis
By Eleanor Thom
10% of women worldwide have Endometriosis. That is over 176 million women. And yet it is underfunded, misdiagnosed, and poorly supported. It is finally starting to get recognition as one of the major health conditions at the heart of the gender health gap. This book looks at what it’s like to live with the condition, sharing personal stories from the other and a number of famous women. Written to help empower women to speak up and seek help, we strong recommend it to anyone living with Endometriosis or who believe they might have it.
Pain and Prejudice: A call to arms for women and their bodies
By Gabrielle Jackson
Similar to Unwell Women, this book takes a look at how women are historically and currently underserved by the medical sector. It looks at how women’s pain is often dismissed, research into women’s diseases (such as endometriosis) is extremely underfunded, and how women’s issues are mistreated at every level from the government policy to medical education. This book is also very hard hitting, but it also looks at what we need to do next and how we can fight back against women’s health bias.
Hormonal: A Conversation About Women's Bodies, Mental Health and Why We Need to Be Heard
By: Eleanor Morgan
Hormones have a huge impact on our lives and yet most people know very little about them, beyond the common complaint about PMS. This book goes beyond the cliches and society's general dismissal of “women’s issues” to look at the real impact our hormones have on our lives. It looks at everything from painful cycles to how hormones can affect our mental health. Elianor also looks at the history of “treating” hormonal issues and how women can take back control of their bodies and ownership of their health. An important read for all women. If you like this book, also check out Eleanor’s other book: Hysterical: Why We Need to Talk about Women, Hormones, and Mental Health.
Cracking the Menopause: While Keeping Yourself Together
by Mariella Frostrup and Alice Smellie
One of the great women’s health outcomes of 2021 is that we are finally seeing people at all leaves say “we need to talk about menopause”. There is even a bill in parliament pushing through new rights for women and a campaign to get more employers to understand it’s impact. And it’s about time. Considering this is something that effects 100% of women, it’s remarkable how little we learn about it until we start going through it. If you want to know more about Menopause, this book from Mariella Fostrup and Alice Smellie is the perfect place to start.
Perimenopause Power: Navigating your hormones on the journey to menopause
By Maisie Hill
While we’re on the topic of menopause, we’d also suggest picking up this book on perimenopause. Something that can effect women from their 30’s and is often misunderstood or dismissed by doctors. Maisie’s book is trying to help rectify this lack of knowledge for women. It looks at the hormonal journey our bodies go through and provides a positive and empowering discussion of the perimenopausal journey. If you’re not quite there yet, we also suggest Maisie’s book Period Power: Harness Your Hormones and Get Your Cycle Working For You. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Period-Power-Harness-Hormones-Working
By: Emma Barnett
You wait 200 years for a book on periods and then two come along! This book is full of stories all about periods. From the funny to the genuinely upsetting, it’s well worth a read. It’s full of the conversations we should all be having about our something that impacts all women for a huge portion of our lives. The humour makes a nice change from some of the harder hitting books on our list.
Bumpology: The myth-busting pregnancy book for curious parents-to-be
By: Linda Geddes
It wouldn’t be a list about women’s health, without at least one book on pregnancy. One of the few areas of women’s health that has had investment (at least from publishers), there are 1000’s of pregnancy books. However, this is one of our favourites because of the focus on myth busting. Instead of trying to present an agenda or how-to-guide, this book presents some of the most common myths around pregnancy and then looks at the scientific research for some actual facts. It’s a perfect book for cutting through a lot of fear and misinformation that plagues women from their first attempts of even getting pregnant. Definitely one for every new parent-to-be.
By Laura Bates
OK, so this isn’t actually a book on women’s health specifically. But it has a fantastic chapter on female reproduction and one of the best illustrations out of all the books on our list. We are even thinking of turning “Vagina is not a dirty word” into a poster for the Sophia Health offices. This book is especially perfect for young women, encouraging them to view their bodies positively and empowering them to speak about their health needs as well as their physical and emotional needs. It’s the book we wish we had at 15 and one we have bought for all the young women in our lives.